If you’re a plus-size woman like me, you probably know what it’s like to go to the mall and not be able to shop. Although it seems like more retailers are becoming more inclusive, we are still excluded from shopping experiences. Having to ask store clerks if they’ve received any returns of the online-only plus sized clothing in your size, or going to the very top of a department store to find a small selection of clothes that look like they were designed in the 80s is less than ideal.
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Dia&Co, a company that focuses exclusively on plus-size clothing, has raised $40 million Series C for its subscription-based fashion service. Sequoia Capital and Union Square Ventures led the round, which brings the company’s total known funding up to a reported $95 million.
The company also recently moved into the exercise clothing space, adding a fitness line in May. Of course, Dia&Co isn’t the only one that has caught on to the market potential. Its main competitor, Stitch Fix, launched a plus size service line in February 2017. (Notably, their maximum size is 24W, whereas Dia&Co’s sizes go up to 32.)
Stitch Fix raised $79.4 million during its life as a private company, before going public in November 2017. The company priced its shares at $15, and went on to raise $120 million in its IPO at a valuation of $1.4 billion. It is currently trading at a $2.7 billion market cap.
There are also other private startups focused on carving out a niche in the fashion subscription space. Take a look at a few U.S.-based companies below:
Amazon is also a contender in the industry. The company launched its Prime Wardrobe out of beta in June 2018. The company’s more hands-on approach allows subscribers to pick their own clothing from the Prime Wardrobe marketplace to add to a customized box. Amazon has since expanded that service to the U.K as well.
In any case, investor interest in Dia&Co speaks to the potential that VCs see in a largely underserved retail market. With inclusive services becoming more popular, there may still be room for positive change in the fashion industry yet.
iStock Photo / vladwel